I get to meet many leaders in my life. Leaders of our customers’ organizations, business leaders, and government and community leaders. I enjoy meeting them and trying to understand what makes them all tick. I love to learn from all of them. Over the years, I have found a common thread running through the ones I truly admire—they know how to laugh. Laugh at life, laugh at themselves, laugh at just about anything.
Nothing defuses a difficult situation like when the leader laughs at it—not laughing at an individual, of course, but making light of the heaviness and thereby letting everyone know that everything will be okay.
What brings a work-related social event to life more: the leader hanging back, watching, and judging, or jumping in wholeheartedly and taking part?
What livens up a boring meeting more; the leader acting more bored than anyone else, or the leader asking everyone to stand up and do a rock-paper-scissors war before turning back to business?
My fourth personal core value is around this idea. This is how I have written it out for myself:
I always look for the lighter side: I try to bring laughter, humour, and fun into just about everything I do.
Great companies make work fun. It is that simple. I only want to work in fun places, and I do all I can to make that happen whether I am leading or following.
In the case of this value, when I feel things getting boring and unproductive, I take things up a notch. My antics are somewhat legendary, and I would like to think I am getting funnier as I get older. Some disagree, but I shall have them sent for re-education soon! 😊